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Perfluoroalkyl and/or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of human-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. They persist in the environment for extended periods of time. They are mobile, and some can build up in the human body.
MPART focuses primarily on PFAS in drinking water.
Since drinking water containing PFAS is the primary way most people can be exposed to PFAS, MPART’s highest priority has been identifying sources of PFAS and sampling nearby private residential wells. With over 1.2 million residential wells in Michigan, MPART won’t be able to sample every single one. We encourage residents to sample their own private drinking water wells to protect themselves and the other people and pets in their homes.
Avoiding PFAS in Consumer products is also important.
People can also be exposed to PFAS from every-day household items such as carpeting, cosmetics, and cleaning products. Not only can switching to PFAS-free products decrease daily exposure to PFAS, but it also can decrease the amount of PFAS entering the environment. Every product we throw away—from carpeting to diapers, shoes to contact lenses, and fast-food wrappers to raingear—ends up in a landfill. In addition, cosmetics, soaps, and cleaning products that get washed down our home sinks and drains go to either a wastewater treatment plant for potential treatment, or into a septic tank which is typically not designed for treating PFAS. By using PFAS-free products, Michiganders can help protect the environment and send a message to companies that consumers no longer want products containing PFAS. This will encourage manufacturers to phase out the use of these harmful chemicals.
There are several resources available to help consumers identify PFAS-free alternatives. MPART does not endorse products and cannot verify claims made by manufacturers claiming to distribute PFAS-free products. The following websites and guides may contain information helpful to consumers seeking PFAS-free alternatives in cosmetics and personal care, baby/child care, apparel, carpets and textiles, furniture, outdoor gear, food ware, water and stain repellents, home maintenance and other products:
Tips to remember as you are reviewing products for purchase:
- PFAS means the entire family of chemicals (of which there are thousands).
- PFOA and PFOS are two of the most mentioned chemicals on product labels for everyday items such as frying pans. So, a pan’s labeling may say “PFOA and PFOS-free,” but because it does not say PFAS-free, it is possible that other PFAS were used to make that pan.
Sunscreen and insect repellants
The following sunscreen and insect-repellant products have been verified by MPART to be PFAS-free at the time of testing. They were evaluated in the process of creating MPART’s PFAS Sampling Guidance. Since these products are applied directly to the skin of field PFAS sample collectors, it was critical for MPART to confirm there was no potential for sample contamination.
MPART does not have the resources or staff to verify products apart from the following. This is not a comprehensive list of potentially PFAS-free sunscreen and insect-repellant products. MPART does not endorse any of the following products.
- Banana Boat® for Men Triple Defense Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 30
- Banana Boat® Sport Performance Coolzone Broad Spectrum SPF 30
- Banana Boat® Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30
- Banana Boat® Sport Performance Sunscreen Stick SPF 50
- Coppertone® Sunscreen Lotion Ultra Guard Broad Spectrum SPF 50
- Coppertone® Sport High Performance AccuSpray Sunscreen SPF 30
- Coppertone® Sunscreen Stick Kids SPF 55
- L’Oréal® Silky Sheer Face Lotion 50
- Meijer® Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50
- Meijer® Sunscreen Continuous Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 30
- Meijer® Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 15, 30 and 50
- Meijer® Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Continuous Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 70
- Neutrogena® Beach Defense Water+Sun Barrier Lotion SPF 70
- Neutrogena® Beach Defense Water+Sun Barrier Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 30
- Neutrogena® Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 60+
- Neutrogena® UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
- OFF® Deep Woods
- Sawyer® Permethrin